If a car accident claim was heard in a court via the Money Claims service, and the value of the car was lower than the cost of repair, how would the court determine a suitable level for the compensation? One would assume it would be the value of the car, but how would this be defined?

To give an idea of the range of values possible, for a particular make and model car there are 4 available in the UK on autotrader, with a median of X, and a range of 2/3 X to 5/3 X. Parkers gives a range of 3/4 X to X for "From a Motor Trader" and 1/3 X for private sale. We buy any car offer 1/3 X.

1 Answer 1


There is a legal definition of fair market value, but it isn't terribly helpful. It would be something along the lines of the price that a willing seller and will buyer under no special time pressure or undue influence would agree upon for the item in question.

In practice, the value of a car would be a question of fact for the court to determine based upon the evidence presented to it in the case, and its determination of the credibility of that evidence. This could come from market quotations, expert appraisal testimony, the testimony of the owner as to his or her belief as to its value, or any other credible means.

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